Sitting around the table playing board games with the family is lots of fun and an excellent way of spending quality family time together. It is also a fantastic opportunity to learn more and put your skills to the test, especially when playing word games such as Bananagrams.

Bananagrams is a fun and very addictive tile-based word game that helps children with words and spelling. And it is not just a game for the children, it is just as much fun for adults to play as well. It is very much a more child-friendly version of Scrabble, without a board or point scoring.

If you have ever played Scrabble, you will know that it is a word building game where you lay out words in a crossword grid pattern with the aim of creating not only the best words but the highest score. Bananagrams is a similar type of game. They are both games of creating word grids. Scrabble has a board and scores points, Bananagrams is just played on any flat surface, without any board and no points are scored. For players to win at Bananagrams (or rather become the Top Banana) they must be the first player to get rid of all their tiles by creating words.

Bananagrams is a very distinctive game. Unlike lots of board and tabletop games it doesn’t come in a box. That’s right, no box to keep all the tiles in. Instead, the contents are housed in a bright yellow banana shaped zip-up pouch that contains 144 letter tiles and instructions. It is a game suitable for 2-6 players, aged 7+ and has a playing time of around 15 to 20 minutes.


Playing Bananagrams is easy and lots of fun, although you might want a dictionary handy to check the validity and spelling of words. The banana pouch contains 144 tiles, known as the Bunch, and these are placed face down in the centre of the table. Depending on how many people are playing dictates how many tiles each player takes (2-4 players = 21 tiles each and 5-6 players = 15 tiles). One player shouts “SPLIT” and everyone simultaneously turns their tiles over and starts to play, releasing their inner wordsmith and racing to create their own word grid with the aim of getting rid of all their letter tiles by creating valid words as quickly as they can. Words must read left to right horizontally, or top to bottom vertically. The grid can be rearranged at any time, and as many times as you like.

That all sounds easy, and it is. But as it is a competitive game there is a twist to make the game more entertaining and fun – every time a player plays their last tile, they need to shout “PEEL” and all players must take another tile from the bunch. If you find yourself stuck, you can shout ‘dump’ and place one of your tiles, face down in the bunch. The catch is that you then must take three tiles from the bunch, making your task of getting rid of all your tiles even harder! But gives other players a chance of winning and the person with the best vocabulary or spelling skills doesn’t always win, they also need the luck of the tiles.

Play continues until there are less tiles left in the bunch than there are the number of people playing. When this happens, the first player to use up all their tiles in their word grid and shouts “BANANAS” wins, subject to the other players scrutinising the word grid to make sure words are spelt correctly and are indeed acceptable and valid words.

Once the words are checked for any misspelled words, abbreviations or proper nouns (these cannot be accepted). If any errors are found then the other players shout out “ROTTEN BANANA” which puts that player out of the game, so be careful what words you use and be as sure as you can be of the spellings as Bananagrams has no spellcheck (except for that trusty dictionary, or you can always ask Alexa). The rotten banana’s tiles are then returned face down to the bunch and play continues with the remaining players.


Overall, I think that Bananagrams is fantastically fun word building game. We have loved playing it in our house. It is a simple game to play and is more quick-paced and frantic than I would have expected from a letter tiles game, and for me, I think it is much better than Scrabble. Requiring no pen, paper, timers or additional items to play, all you need is a flat playing surface. And you don’t need to have the largest vocabulary as it is a race to get rid of all your tiles and using words such as cat or dog can see your more successful than using words like pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis  (the longest word in the English dictionary which refers to a lung disease).

Bananagrams is a superb family game. It is also a great game for the kids to play among themselves and adults to pit their word and spelling skills against other adults. Because it is not always about using the best of longest words to score the most points, the children can play easily with the adults.

The instructions are easy to understand and also have rules for three alternative ways to play:

  • BANANA SMOOTHIE: a slower game for when you are in no mood to rush – it has no peeling or dumping.
  • BANANA CAFÉ: has dumping but no peeling.
  • BANANA SOLITAIRE: a relaxing game to play alone.

The quality of all the letter tiles is excellent. I particularly liked that the letters are etched into the tiles rather than just printed on top, making them far more durable as the print won’t wear off as quickly or easily, prolonging the longevity of the game. The attention grabbing banana pouch also feels very good quality and is excellent for keeping all the tiles together and making it a very portable travel game to play anywhere.

I think that Bananagrams is a fun and enjoyable game for children, adults and families. Whilst it is a fun game it is also a great educational tool as it also helps players practice their spelling skills, learn new words, helps players learn the meaning of unfamiliar words and can even get children to learn how to use a dictionary properly.

Bananagrams is a fun, entertaining, exciting and educational game. A fun way for children to learn new words, practice spelling and develop their vocabulary skills. And perfect for adults to pit their vocabulary skills and spelling against each other. An enjoyable game for those game nights with friends and family.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £14.99

For more information, visit Available to buy from Amazon here.

5 stars

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review uses an affiliate link which we may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the Amazon link.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *